I am a traveler who loves nature and photography. Last week, my two friends Marjorie Horatio and Kelly Gold and I went to the Hougao Lake Wetland Park in Wuhan, Hubei, China to observe birds. Hougao Lake Wetland Park is a national wetland park with an area of 3,186.3 hectares, three times the size of Donghu Wetland Park and the largest wetland park in Wuhan. It has rich aquatic resources and is a paradise for birds. We hoped to capture the beauty and diversity of birds through our camera lenses and record this natural wonder.
As our observation plan involved nighttime, we needed a high-performance night vision binoculars to assist our shooting. After comparing and selecting, we decided to use the Wildguarder owler1 night vision binoculars. This night vision binoculars has 20x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom, and provides a visual range of up to 1640 feet/500 meters. It also has a 2-inch TFT display screen that can clearly watch the picture in the dark, and can take photos and videos and save them to a TF card. We believe that this night vision binoculars can meet our needs and allow us to appreciate the charm of birds at night.
In this article, I will introduce the characteristics and scenery of Hougao Lake Wetland Park, the process and feelings of observing birds, and the customs and cuisine of Wuhan. I hope that through my sharing, you can also feel the charm and vitality of this city.
Hougao Lake Wetland Park is located in the north-central part of Caidian District, Wuhan, along the Gao Lake water area. It is the largest wetland park in Wuhan and a national wetland park. It has rich aquatic resources and is a paradise for birds. We spent three days and two nights here observing birds and experiencing the charm and vitality of nature.
Hougao Lake Wetland Park has 130 species of water birds and forest birds, including 71 national first-level protected birds, white cranes, and 383 national second-level protected birds, gray cranes. We rode along the greenway built along the lake in the park, enjoying the lake and mountain scenery, and occasionally stopping to observe birds on the water or tree branches with the night vision binoculars. We saw white cranes elegantly foraging in the water, gray cranes standing proudly in the grass, and various birds of different colors and shapes flying in the air or singing on branches. We used the night vision binoculars to take some photos and videos, recording these beautiful scenes.
Hougao Lake Wetland Park not only has birds but also other rare animals and plants. There are four key protected fish in Hubei Province, such as grass carp, black carp, light-lipped snakehead, and long-nosed gudgeon, and four provincial protected animals, such as southern rabbits, badgers, hog badgers, and small muntjacs. We stayed in the park’s farmhouse and tasted some local specialties, such as wild fish soup, lotus root pork ribs, and pucai scrambled eggs. We also visited some attractions in the park, such as chess society, point general platform, and maple bridge, to experience the history and culture of Hubei.
Hougao Lake Wetland Park left us with a deep impression and showed us another side of Wuhan. It not only has modern buildings and development but also primitive nature and ecology. It not only has hospitable people and delicious food but also precious animals and diverse birds. It is a place worth visiting and also a place that needs to be protected and cherished.
After observing birds in Hougao Lake Wetland Park, we went to other places in Wuhan to experience the customs and cuisine of this city. Wuhan is a city with a long history and rich culture, as well as a city with countless delicacies and snacks. We tasted the top ten famous dishes in Wuhan and felt the enthusiasm and pride of the people here.
The top ten famous dishes in Wuhan are:
- Hot dry noodles. This is Wuhan’s most representative snack and the first choice for breakfast for Wuhanese. The noodles of hot dry noodles are chewy, topped with sesame paste, sesame oil, and chili oil, stirred evenly, and eaten in large bites. The taste is fragrant and not greasy.
- Hubei Rice Noodle Soup. This is another breakfast option for Wuhanese and is also known as “Wuhan’s lamb soup and bread.” Hubei Rice Noodle Soup is made from fresh small fish cooked into a paste, mixed with rice noodles made from rice, and sprinkled with condiments such as scallions, shrimp skins, peppers, scallions, and spicy radishes. The freshness and spiciness of Hubei Rice Noodle Soup make people’s appetite open, and it must be matched with Chinese fried dough twists to be perfect.
- Shao Mai. Shao Mai is an important indicator of Wuhan’s early culture, which is oily and anti-hunger. Shao Mai has glutinous rice, minced meat, shiitake mushrooms, and other fillings. When you bite into it, it has a strong pepper flavor, the broth is rich and flavorful, and the skin is thin and tender.
- Chicken Crown Dumpling. Chicken Crown Dumpling is not a dumpling, it is just named after its shape. Chicken Crown Dumpling is made from old flour, which is pinched into small pieces, lightly pressed, picked up a large lump of filling, folded in half, and then flattened with both hands. Then it is fried in an oil pan until golden brown. The outer skin is crispy, and the inner filling is soft and fluffy, accompanied by a strong pepper aroma.
- Mianwo. Mianwo is made from peeled mung beans and rice paste, poured into a special iron spoon, fried in oil until it becomes a round cake with thick edges and hollow center. The outer skin of Mianwo is golden and uneven, shaped like a round thorn ball, and the inside is soft and fluffy.
This trip to Wuhan has brought me a lot of gains. I not only appreciated the beautiful scenery and rich birdlife of Hougao Lake Wetland Park but also tasted the top ten famous dishes in Wuhan and other local specialties, experienced the history and culture of Wuhan. I think Wuhan is a city full of vitality and charm, and a city worth exploring and discovering. I am very grateful to Wildguarder owler1 night vision binoculars for allowing me to observe the beauty and diversity of birds at night and record this natural wonder. I hope to have the opportunity to come to Wuhan again and discover more exciting things about this city.